1996-1997 Maori L. Rev. 1 (1996-1997)

handle is hein.journals/maori1996 and id is 1 raw text is: 0  I
he Mo ri Law eiew
A monthly review of law affecting Maori

February 1996
This issue may be cited as
Maori LR Feb 1996

Internet World Wide Web:
http 1fwww.kennettco.nzmaorilaw
Tom Bennion
PO Box 11 310
New Zealand
Phone/fax (04) 475 3681
email bennion@actrixgen.nz
Esoteric Publications
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ęCopyright Tom Bennion 1996

ISSN 1172-8434

In Re Rangitane o Tamaki Nui-a-Rua Inc Society
11 Takitimu A CMB 96, 9 February 1996. Deputy Cf Smith, Carter, Savagef
This was an appeal from an order under s30(3)/1993 appointing representatives
of the hapu, iwi or general Maori of the Tararua District for the purposes
of consultation with the Tararua District Council (the lower court decisions
are noted in Mdori LR Nov 1994 p2 & Jul 1995 p2). The council had made
the application because of disputes between Rangitane and Kahungunu groups.
The original application asked that the Chief Judge request the land court
to determine tangata whenua for the district and also in terms of the
Resource Management Act 1991 and the Local Government Act 1974. The
Chief Judge thought it appropriate for the court to consider who were
tangata whenua only to the extent strictly necessary for the application.
Any wider consideration might intrude on the functions of the Planning
Tribunal, and by defining tangata whenua for a discrete area, the court
might fail to take account of possible overlaps with other tribal groups.
Accordingly, he asked the land court simply to determine appropriate
representatives for the Tararua District for the purposes of consultation.
After a hearing and interim decision, the land court had made an order
appointing 3 persons nominated by Ngati Kahungunu as representatives,
the Rangitane group being unwilling to make nominations. They were
nevertheless given 6 months to reconsider their position. The appellants
argued that the lower court had made mistakes of fact, had wrongly interpreted
evidence, and had come up with a joint committee structure which had
not worked in the past.
Held: the appeal should be dismissed. The appellants had concentrated on
showing that they were tangata whenua of the district and the lower court
had rightly taken this evidence into account. It would be hard to envisage
any representation not including some persons from among tangata whenua.
But the lower court made no finding as to tangata whenua of the district,
but regarded both Rangitane and Kahungunu as entitled to representation,
as members of both iwi were undoubtedly resident throughout the district.
The comments alleged to be mistaken were obiter and not significant to
the final decision. Both tribes had been found to be present in the district
and who had primacy had little bearing on the final decision. The court
had appropriately focused on representation issues and not tangata whenua
status, as directed by the Chief Judge.
The Resource Management Act 1991 s2 (definition of tangata whenua)
refers particularly to those holding manawhenua over land. It is difficult
to see how an iwi can claim manawhenua over land when the owners of
that land do not recognise that iwi and claim allegiance to a related iwi.

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